Today is the second part of Decorating Styles Defined where we’ll be looking at the definitions of Hollywood Regency, Eclectic, and French Country.  {If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.}  I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, I don’t believe that anyone has to follow standard styles of decorating or that you have to choose just one!  Part of what makes a house a home is that it reflects your individual style, so I’m a big believer in decorating in whatever style you like best.  That being said, I still think it’s helpful to understand some of the fundamentals because sometimes, knowing the rules makes it easier to break them!  {And don’t we all secretly enjoy breaking the rules sometimes??}

 

TIDBITS&TWINE - Decorating Styles Defined Part 2 Eclectic, Hollywood Regency, and French Country

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Eclectic

An Eclectic style of decorating is just as it sounds – a little bit of this mixed with a little bit of that to create a look that is uniquely you!  It’s a curated look that doesn’t reflect one particular style, but a mix that grows and evolves over time as your tastes change.  Done carefully and with intent, you can create a style all of your own; however, done without planning, the mismatch of items can look chaotic and cluttered, so it’s important to know both HOW and WHAT to mix and match.  {Truth be told, I prefer the terms “curated” or “collected” over the word “eclectic” because they sound more intentional, but that’s just my opinion!}

The key to an Eclectic style is not to look for things that match, but rather, things that go together.  This means that you can utilize dissimilar objects {in fact, contrasting objects work great} so long they all have at least one thing in comment, whether it’s their coloring, scale, finish, size, shape, etc.  This is really an important element of an Eclectic style – everything has at least one thing in common with something else in the room!

{via Indie Style Interiors}
{via Indie Style Interiors}

 

One tricky thing about describing your style as Eclectic, though, is that because it is so individualized, there’s no way for someone to get a clear image in their mind as to your style.  You could primarily mix Traditional with Contemporary, or Modern with Industrial, and while both would be called Eclectic, they would have a very different look!

{via Houzz}
{via Houzz}

 

For tips on Mixing and Matching to create a cohesive Eclectic look, you can refer to these posts:

 

Hollywood Regency

This style of decorating tends to be very dramatic and glamorous, with bold statement pieces and lots of shine, whether it be from mirrors, crystal embellishments, or lacquered furniture pieces.  Upholstered items are very generous and luxe, such as velvet, satin, or leather.  The colors used in a Hollywood Regency style are high-contrast and bold, but usually limited to a single accent color so that the look remains very refined.

{via DKOR Interiors}
{via DKOR Interiors}

 

Mirrors, mirrors, everywhere!  Mirrored furniture plays a big part in the design of the rooms, but one mirrored surface is never enough!  Several mirrors {or mirrored surfaces} might be mixed together, particularly mirrors that have a mirrored frame!  The brighter it shines, the better!

{via DKOR Interiors}
{via DKOR Interiors}

 

Furniture lines are a mix of curved and linear to create a mix of femininity and masculinity in the room.  Pieces typically reflect a lot of details, but they are done in a more delicate and intricate way so that the pieces remain looking small in scale.  While there will be more accessories than will be found in a Modern room, they won’t look overly busy and usually won’t constitute a collection, as is often the case in a Traditional room.

{via DKOR Interiors}
{via DKOR Interiors}

 

French Country

A French country style of decorating takes its cue from an old-world, European influence that strikes a balance between beauty and function.  Hallmarks of this style of decorating include time-worn furnishings, natural textures {and lots of them}, warm, patinaed metal finishes, and a color palette that features muted hues pulled from nature.  Furniture pieces have graceful curves and details that give rooms and elegant look, but the aged appearance helps keep rooms from feeling formal and makes them a bit casual and very welcoming.

{via Hendricks Construction}
{via Houzz}

 

Pieces aren’t matchy-matchy in French Country design because they are meant to look collected, or handed down from generation to generation, but they shape and silhouette of the pieces will likely be the same.  Warm wood tones and chippy paints are abundant, as are upholstered pieces.  Patterns are freely mixed but typically include toile, gingham and florals, often in the same color palette.

{via Warmington&North}
{via Warmington&North}

 

Architectural details are also common in this style of decorating, but more often, they are not purely decorative but more functional.  Think paneled doors with intricate knob backplates and rosettes, beams, corbels, and carved stone fireplaces.

{via Catherine Sandin}
{via Catherine Sandin}

 

 

I typically call my style Casual Elegance, but it’s really Eclectic because I mix French Country, Transitional, and a few other styles.

 

What do you call your style?

 

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10 Comments

  1. Currently my style is Boho. I live in th southwest and my home is a lovely fllat-roof hacienda with a rounded corner fireplace.. I moved here with a lot of furniture, most of which has been replaced to fit the style of the house. I find Boho is perfect because pure sourthwestern style can get too themy,

    I hope in later tutorials you will talk more about Boho and Farmhouse style, which is currently trending. I think farmhouse style may have enough going for it to stay around a while..
    I’m new to your site and look forward to new posts.

  2. nicola gritton says:

    The painting in the first photo, the girl with the floral hat on. Where is this from please?

  3. Kim
    I always have a hard time describing my style but I’d say there’s a solid base of traditional, with a few transitional items, peppered with English country. There, that’s it! :-)
    I’ve enjoyed this series. Maybe at my age it’s common to have a mix since we tend to layer as we live in a home over many years.
    xo,
    Karen

  4. Thank you, Kim – interesting information. After all these many years of collecting, curating and gathering, I guess the only decorating style that fits me is Styling by Kay!

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Kay – Collection, curating, and gathering is my favorite way of decorating, too! And “Styling by Kay” is the perfect name for you! :)

  5. Good info. I did hand me downs then Contemporary in the 70s, American Country, Country French and English Country in the 80s, then Cottage. I love it all and we move a lot so I know my style is electric but I like curated/collected MUCH better. I also have always favored Colonial and Federdal and eventually came to appreciate British Colonial too. So I tell people our home is New England Colonial with a French and English accent! Most would describe it as Tradional with a few primitives thrown in.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      I love that your style has changed and evolved over time – that’s the best way in my opinion! That way, your home always reflects who you are as a person *right now*. It sounds to me like you’ve transitioned through some beautiful styles to make one that it completely your own. :)

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